03.02.2022 Views

The Crimson White: Justice Edition, February 2021

Injustice is not a thing of the past. Turning a blind eye allows it to persist. In this month’s special edition, The Crimson White explores the fight for justice on campus and in Tuscaloosa.

Injustice is not a thing of the past. Turning a blind eye allows it to persist. In this month’s special edition, The Crimson White explores the fight for justice on campus and in Tuscaloosa.

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2022<br />

VOLUME CXXVIII | ISSUE VI<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

Injustice is not a thing of the past. Turning a blind eye allows it<br />

to persist. In this month’s special edition, <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong><br />

explores the fight for justice on campus and in Tuscaloosa.<br />

Activism and injustice in the Tuscaloosa community<br />

AUGUSTUS BARNETTE, ETHAN HENRY, BIANCA MCCARTY & HALEY TAYLOR<br />

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS<br />

Almost two years after the murder<br />

of George Floyd ignited widespread<br />

discussion about race and injustice,<br />

these discussions have evolved into<br />

moves toward change.<br />

Campus<br />

“It [Black Lives Matter] reminded<br />

people that we ... must always<br />

be engaging in advocacy for our<br />

issues, that we can’t ever breathe<br />

a sigh of relief and think it’s<br />

over,” said Cassandra Simon, an<br />

associate professor and the vice<br />

president of the Black Faculty and<br />

Staff Association.<br />

<strong>The</strong> BLM protests contributed<br />

to the Black Faculty and Staff<br />

Association’s current activism and<br />

advocacy and brought renewed<br />

attention to social issues affecting<br />

people of color.<br />

BFSA has always been dedicated<br />

to creating social change and calling<br />

for racial equality at the University<br />

while also creating a welcoming<br />

space for Black students. Since<br />

the summer of 2020, however, the<br />

organization has engaged in more<br />

activism and advocacy and has seen<br />

greater involvement from members<br />

of the UA community, including<br />

faculty, students and staff.<br />

In November <strong>2021</strong>, <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama dedicated<br />

Wade Hall in honor of Archie Wade,<br />

the first Black faculty member at the<br />

University. BFSA advocated heavily<br />

for the rededication of the building,<br />

formerly known as Moore Hall, in<br />

honor of Wade, a founding member<br />

of BFSA.<br />

“We’ve let people know that<br />

BFSA is not just about activism<br />

and advocacy for just Black people.<br />

It is about truly trying to create an<br />

equitable kind of environment for<br />

everybody,” Simon said.<br />

BLM did not bypass the University,<br />

and BFSA responded to the best<br />

of its ability, as the COVID-19<br />

pandemic forced the organization<br />

to go virtual. Discussions of social<br />

issues and programs honoring Black<br />

student achievements were relocated<br />

to Zoom to protect all members<br />

of the community. Recordings of<br />

Zoom sessions are still accessible<br />

through the BFSA website.<br />

Outside of those events, BFSA<br />

meets its goals through programs<br />

and events, such as professional<br />

development days, the Nyansapo<br />

Kente robing ceremony, and a<br />

welcome reception for new students<br />

in the fall. BFSA hosts speakers and<br />

the 2022 Wakanda Scholarship Ball,<br />

scheduled for Feb. 5.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> organization’s goals are to<br />

provide an equitable educational<br />

experience ... for Black Americans at<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama, as well<br />

as help the University understand<br />

the needs of its Black faculty, staff<br />

and students,” Simon said.<br />

Tuscaloosa<br />

Tuscaloosa Action, a local<br />

group with the goal of promoting<br />

progressive voices in West Alabama,<br />

was created in summer 2020.<br />

Tuscaloosa Action member Emily<br />

Altman said they got involved with<br />

T-Town Freedom Marchers that<br />

summer and marched every week<br />

for 30 weeks straight. <strong>The</strong>y marched<br />

for BLM and voting rights.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group asked themselves:<br />

“Other than marching, what can<br />

we do?”<br />

Despite the initial rush for justice<br />

following the death of George Floyd<br />

and the protests of 2020, Altman<br />

has noticed waning involvement as<br />

time continues.<br />

“I think there’s some people who<br />

got really involved during that<br />

time who are still involved, but I<br />

also think that big mass movement<br />

has receded a lot,” Altman said. “If<br />

you’re marching for something, or<br />

emailing for something, or posting<br />

about something, and it doesn’t<br />

affect you or the people right around<br />

you every day, it’s really easy to be<br />

like, ‘Well, that was good, we did<br />

that,” but not knowing that it’s still<br />

here, and it’s still every day, and it’s<br />

still like a slog journey to try to get<br />

it fixed.<br />

Tuscaloosa Action has been<br />

disseminating information and<br />

working toward a fair outcome<br />

regarding voter redistricting as<br />

well. Due to the shift in Tuscaloosa’s<br />

demographics, it is now a minoritymajority<br />

city, though Altman<br />

explained that is not how the city is<br />

represented in either the district or<br />

the city council.<br />

Altman said the statewide<br />

redistricting ended up not<br />

representing the people of Alabama.<br />

“Tuscaloosa is a minoritymajority<br />

city now,” Altman said. “It’s<br />

52% Black ... and this is the map<br />

they’re voting on that’s going to be<br />

the map for the next 10 years ...<br />

SEE PAGE 4A<br />

CONTENTS<br />

4A<br />

A<br />

NEWS<br />

new campus group<br />

is educating students<br />

about Alabama’s<br />

prison system<br />

2B<br />

OPINION<br />

<strong>The</strong> universities<br />

outwardly<br />

progressive acts<br />

are performative<br />

6B<br />

SPORTS<br />

Athletes can be<br />

activists through<br />

name, image, and<br />

likeness policies<br />

SSCC OFFERS COMPETITIVE SCHOLARSHIPS TO<br />

QUALIFIED STUDENTS* WHO ARE RESIDENTS OF THE<br />

STATE OF ALABAMA.<br />

For complete information and to apply, visit sheltonstate.edu/scholarships.<br />

DEADLINE MARCH 1, 2022<br />

*Students must be conditionally admitted to Shelton State to apply for scholarships.It is the policy of the Alabama Community<br />

College System Board of Trustees and Shelton State Community College, a postsecondary institution under its control, that no<br />

person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, gender, age, or any other protected<br />

class as defined by federal and state law, be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or subjected to discrimination under<br />

any program, activity, or employment.


2A<br />

THE CRIMSON WHITE<br />

editor-in-chief<br />

managing editor<br />

engagement editor<br />

chief copy editor<br />

opinions editor<br />

news editor<br />

assistant news editor<br />

culture editor<br />

assistant culture editor<br />

sports editor<br />

assistant sports editor<br />

chief page editor<br />

chief graphics editor<br />

photo editor<br />

assistant photo editor<br />

multimedia editor<br />

Keely Brewer<br />

editor@cw.ua.edu<br />

Bhavana Ravala<br />

managingeditor@cw.ua.edu<br />

Garrett Kennedy<br />

engagement@cw.ua.edu<br />

Jack Maurer<br />

Ava Fisher<br />

letters@cw.ua.edu<br />

Zach Johnson<br />

newsdesk@cw.ua.edu<br />

Isabel Hope<br />

Jeffrey Kelly<br />

culture@cw.ua.edu<br />

Annabelle Blomeley<br />

Ashlee Woods<br />

sports@cw.ua.edu<br />

Robert Cortez<br />

Pearl Langley<br />

Autumn Williams<br />

Lexi Hall<br />

David Gray<br />

Alex Miller<br />

ADVERTISING STAFF<br />

creative services Alyssa Sons<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> Wh is the community newspaper of<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> is an<br />

editorially free newspaper produced by students.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama cannot influence editorial<br />

decisions and editorial opinions are those of the<br />

editorial board and do not represent the official<br />

opinions of the University. Advertising offices of <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> are in room 1014, Student Media<br />

Building, 414 Campus Drive East. <strong>The</strong> advertising<br />

mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL<br />

35487.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong>, Copyright © <strong>2021</strong><br />

by <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong>. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> is printed<br />

monthly, August through April by <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama, Student Media, Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL<br />

35487, Call 205-348-7257<br />

All material contained herein, except advertising or<br />

where indicated otherwise, is Copyright © <strong>2021</strong> by<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> and protected under the “Work<br />

Made for Hire” and “Periodical Publication” categories<br />

of the U.S. copyright laws. Material herein may not be<br />

reprinted without the expressed, written permission<br />

of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong>.<br />

Tap in with CW!<br />

(We have an email newsletter now.)<br />

Subscribe to get our newsletter in your<br />

inbox on Monday and Thursday mornings.<br />

FEBRUARY EVENTS<br />

5<br />

Men’s<br />

basketball vs. 5<br />

Kentucky<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

7PM<br />

BFSA Wakanda<br />

Scholarship Ball<br />

Bryant Conference<br />

Center 6PM<br />

JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

ACROSS:<br />

1. Denny Chimes location<br />

5. Swedish pop group with<br />

<strong>2021</strong> album “Voyage”<br />

6. Word following “in-” or<br />

“home-”<br />

7. “I’m all ____”<br />

8. Brit’s behind<br />

DOWN:<br />

1. 2022 World Cup host<br />

nation<br />

2. Rides home from the<br />

Strip, perhaps<br />

3. Degrade<br />

4. West, to North?<br />

6. Location of an<br />

octopus’s garden, say<br />

For crossword answers see page 2B<br />

9<br />

Off-Campus<br />

Housing Fair<br />

UA Student Center<br />

Plaza 11AM<br />

Gymnastics<br />

11 “Power of Pink”<br />

vs. Georgia<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

6:30PM<br />

14<br />

Valentine’s<br />

Day<br />

CW / Wesley Picard<br />

20<br />

Honor Society<br />

Application Due<br />

Online<br />

11:59PM<br />

Business<br />

Career Fair<br />

23 23<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

10AM<br />

SOURCE<br />

Fundraising<br />

Workshop<br />

Online<br />

11AM<br />

24 Technical &<br />

Engineering<br />

Career Fair<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

10AM


JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

3A<br />

CW File<br />

OUR VIEW: Saban knows that silence is dangerous<br />

THE EDITORIAL BOARD<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama cannot<br />

be separated from the state of Alabama.<br />

It cannot be separated from national<br />

conversations of justice. Any attempts<br />

to do so are dishonest. <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Alabama ought to be a figure for<br />

active change through legislative<br />

action and political participation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University cannot be divorced<br />

from public discourse because its<br />

own history is intertwined with the<br />

history of this nation. A walk around<br />

campus isn’t complete without seeing<br />

plaques that commemorate buildings’<br />

significance in the Civil War. Our<br />

university once served as a training<br />

ground for Confederate soldiers,<br />

so how can we pretend that it hasn’t<br />

played a role in the struggle for justice?<br />

When the University had to be forced<br />

to integrate after the ruling of Brown<br />

v. Board of Education, how can we<br />

reevaluate our role in upholding the<br />

experience of minority students?<br />

In the last few years, this country<br />

has been reevaluating the ways it views<br />

social justice. It is impossible for the<br />

University to remain silent in these<br />

conversations. As the state’s flagship<br />

university, it has a role in the state’s<br />

legacy. When it comes to matters of<br />

social change, the University has a<br />

unique position. It can use its influence<br />

to translate social change into actual<br />

policy. It can shatter stigma.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s participation in<br />

national movements matters, but what<br />

exactly is “the University”? Placing<br />

the responsibility of “justice” on<br />

the University relies on a vague and<br />

elusive measure of justice, achieved<br />

by a nameless and unidentifiable<br />

institution. To truly impact the<br />

community that surrounds us, the<br />

University’s efforts at social change<br />

must come from action by students,<br />

faculty and administration. It is easy<br />

for individuals to pawn off their<br />

responsibilities onto a nameless<br />

organization, but this attitude<br />

ignores the fact that all institutions<br />

are composed of individual people<br />

with beliefs, values and actions<br />

that inevitably influence the<br />

institution’s image.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University doesn’t need to be a<br />

faceless organization. Individuals with<br />

influence can uplift the institution<br />

and the community we interact with.<br />

Earlier this month, Nick Saban gained<br />

national attention for something other<br />

than winning a football game.<br />

<strong>The</strong> championship-winning coach<br />

was an instrumental co-signer in<br />

a letter to West Virginia Sen. Joe<br />

Manchin supporting the Freedom<br />

to Vote Act. <strong>The</strong> letter, co-signed by<br />

notable figures in sports, supported<br />

the bill and its “measures to provide<br />

voters with a range of opportunities<br />

to obtain and cast a lawful ballot,<br />

including robust in-person, early, and<br />

absentee voting options.”<br />

Saban’s involvement in the political<br />

sphere was criticized by the bill’s<br />

opponents. In a since-deleted tweet,<br />

Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of<br />

South Carolina said “Nick Saban<br />

should focus on winning National<br />

Championships instead of destroying<br />

our elections.”<br />

In a speech outside Foster<br />

Auditorium after participating in a<br />

Black Lives Matter march in 2020,<br />

Saban said, “Sports has always created<br />

a platform for social change. ... For<br />

each of us involved in sports, I think<br />

we have a responsibility and obligation<br />

to do that in a responsible way and use<br />

our platform in a positive way to try to<br />

create social change in positive ways.”<br />

Saban understands the truth of<br />

our collective responsibility. He is, in<br />

many ways, the face of this university.<br />

With such a position of influence,<br />

he has a responsibility to ensure that<br />

his image improves the community<br />

he represents.<br />

Taking action will inevitably invite<br />

scrutiny. But like Saban, we must be<br />

willing, as residents of Alabama and<br />

representatives of this university, to<br />

endure discomfort in the service of a<br />

greater cause.<br />

<strong>The</strong> actions of individuals like<br />

Saban are not just important in the<br />

sports world; they set a precedent<br />

for the mobilization of nonpolitical<br />

figures in pursuit of social change.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y have the potential to inspire<br />

university representatives at all levels<br />

to reconsider the role of academia and<br />

how it can be utilized to influence<br />

policy. Though the Freedom to Vote<br />

Act was ultimately not passed, Saban’s<br />

actions still matter; they change<br />

our perspective on what exactly<br />

entertainment is for.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s faculty members<br />

also play a role in upholding justice<br />

in the spheres they engage in and in<br />

the community as a whole. In the <strong>2021</strong><br />

Alabama legislative session, multiple<br />

bills banning the practice of critical<br />

race theory were proposed and passed.<br />

As a reaction, the Faculty Senate<br />

passed a resolution in opposition to<br />

the legislation, asserting that any bans<br />

on critical race theory are a concern<br />

to the cause of academic freedom. <strong>The</strong><br />

perspective of university faculty in the<br />

conversation of critical race theory is<br />

vastly important, as no one is more<br />

qualified to discuss the merits of any<br />

practice than those who teach it.<br />

This action by the Faculty<br />

Senate serves as an example of how<br />

university members may use their<br />

unique experience and knowledge to<br />

influence their community.<br />

Students are no different. Though<br />

we may not have the esteem of a<br />

degree or career yet, college students<br />

are community members in our<br />

own right. Our voices are powerful,<br />

and it’s up to us to use our voice<br />

toward change.<br />

As college students, we have the<br />

unique position of having the fresh<br />

perspective of our youth. We are savvy<br />

with social media. We know how<br />

to garner attention for an issue. We<br />

alongside other community members<br />

can change the world.<br />

Two years ago, in response to Gov.<br />

Kay Ivey’s proposal to lease two<br />

private mega-prisons in the state,<br />

the student group Alabama Students<br />

Against Prisons formed. Though the<br />

group originated over Zoom, in the<br />

midst of a pandemic, its members<br />

were still able to enact change.<br />

In December 2020, the group<br />

staged a protest at Regions Bank in<br />

Birmingham, urging the bank to divest<br />

from CoreCivic, one of the companies<br />

building the proposed megaprison.<br />

<strong>The</strong> students’ efforts were<br />

ultimately successful.<br />

This is the power that college<br />

students have. When united,<br />

motivated, and impassioned, we have<br />

the ability to see real change occur.<br />

We have the ability to make justice a<br />

reality rather than just an ideal.<br />

Achieving justice isn’t a simple<br />

endeavor. It is a quest that cannot<br />

ever be fully realized. This should<br />

not dissuade us from trying every<br />

day to be more aware of our place in<br />

the world. As part of the University,<br />

every member has a role in pursuing a<br />

better, more equitable community.<br />

From students to faculty to<br />

championship-winning coaches, we<br />

can all begin making this reality by<br />

simply acknowledging the fact that the<br />

University and the community that<br />

surrounds it are one and the same. We<br />

do not exist and learn in a vacuum. We<br />

are the face of the state of Alabama.<br />

We are a national institution.<br />

If our individual actions seem<br />

insignificant to us now, they will<br />

certainly leave a legacy behind. If<br />

this university is “where legends are<br />

made,” let’s ensure these are legacies<br />

worth reading.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> Editorial Board is composed of Editorin-Chief<br />

Keely Brewer, Managing Editor Bhavana Ravala,<br />

Engagement Editor Garrett Kennedy, Chief Copy Editor Jack<br />

Maurer and Opinions Editor Ava Fisher.


4A<br />

JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

Protestors march in downtown Tuscaloosa in summer 2020. CW File<br />

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1<br />

And our city council is not a<br />

minority-majority city council,<br />

and the map that they’re currently<br />

proposing does not allow for it to be.”<br />

Though she said Tuscaloosa still<br />

needs to be redistricted more fairly,<br />

Altman is happy that better statewide<br />

voting districts have come to fruition,<br />

and she is hopeful for the future<br />

of Alabama.<br />

“When I look at the people, again,<br />

who are working really, really hard to<br />

do good work, I am hopeful because<br />

I think more people are doing that<br />

than were previously,” Altman said.<br />

“I think also, though, that we need<br />

more people doing good. ... <strong>The</strong> best<br />

solution for fixing bad stuff is more<br />

people doing good, right? And so we<br />

just need more people doing good,<br />

and I think that it’s trending that way<br />

but obviously never as fast as you<br />

want it to be.”<br />

Altman said activism is not just<br />

fighting for what’s right.<br />

“I think one of the things that<br />

makes doing activism work and<br />

social justice work sustainable, is you<br />

find your people in it,” Altman said.<br />

“We need more people, but also I<br />

think people need to get involved in<br />

it because it’s something that sustains<br />

people too, right? It becomes a<br />

healing space.”<br />

Alabama<br />

Joyce Vance, the former U.S.<br />

attorney for the Northern District of<br />

Alabama and a current distinguished<br />

professor at <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama’s law school, said she made<br />

accountability in law enforcement a<br />

priority during her time in office.<br />

“When I was the U.S. Attorney,<br />

we aggressively investigated every<br />

instance of police misconduct that<br />

came to our attention and prosecuted<br />

whenever we had the evidence that<br />

made it feasible to prosecute, because<br />

... that should be one of the prime<br />

focuses for law enforcement. <strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

really nobody else who can protect us<br />

when the people who are supposed to<br />

protect us run amok, and so I view<br />

that as one of our top priorities,”<br />

Vance said.<br />

Vance said corruption in police<br />

departments is generally the<br />

exception, not the norm.<br />

“I think it’s important to say,<br />

though, most police officers honor<br />

their oath,” Vance said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> process of seeking out justice<br />

can be frustrating at times, but<br />

Vance said the system is designed to<br />

protect the innocent against wrongful<br />

incarceration.<br />

“We also have to be willing<br />

to engage in a due process that’s<br />

fair, even to criminal defendants,<br />

no matter what they’ve done,”<br />

Vance said.<br />

Vance recommended that everyday<br />

citizens educate themselves by<br />

reading some of the foundational<br />

documents that informed our early<br />

system, including the Federalist<br />

Papers and the Constitution, to<br />

form a view that isn’t based in<br />

reactionary politics.<br />

“We want to think in a way that<br />

transcends politics about justice,”<br />

Vance said.<br />

For those pursuing careers in law<br />

and politics, Vance said it’s important<br />

to remember that the desire for<br />

perfection must not stand in the way<br />

of working for a better society. This<br />

advice is something she remembers<br />

her former boss Deputy Attorney<br />

General James Cole giving often.<br />

<strong>The</strong> intersection of activism and<br />

mental health often comes up for<br />

those who want to work in law or<br />

just want to work on social justice<br />

platforms like Black Lives Matter.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is such an emphasis on meeting<br />

a goal that everything else becomes<br />

obsolete, including prioritizing<br />

mental health<br />

As the fight for equality pushes on,<br />

it is important to remember the toll<br />

it takes on Black people and people<br />

of color. <strong>The</strong> work is exhausting, and<br />

it is compounded with the fear and<br />

anger that come with having a system<br />

working against your every move.<br />

Hardships are internalized. <strong>The</strong><br />

way racial biases must be unlearned<br />

and unpacked is the same way racial<br />

trauma must be unpacked.<br />

<strong>The</strong> conversation in and of itself<br />

is a product of racism. Who gets to<br />

grieve and take time for themselves?<br />

<strong>The</strong> work being done in the name<br />

of activism and the people who can<br />

afford to take care of their mental<br />

health directly intersect with each<br />

other. Mental health is often seen as<br />

a taboo topic.<br />

In the Black community in<br />

particular, there is a stigma around<br />

mental health. It is seen as something<br />

that needs to be hidden rather than<br />

something that millions of people live<br />

with every day. That stigma goes hand<br />

in hand with the inequity of who gets<br />

therapy. <strong>The</strong> inequity is a byproduct<br />

of a broken system that puts Black<br />

people at a disadvantage in the same<br />

way police brutality does.<br />

<strong>The</strong> National Alliance on Mental<br />

Illness, or NAMI, has separate<br />

sections on its website dedicated<br />

to explaining how different<br />

marginalized communities handle<br />

mental health and trauma.<br />

As strides are being made for<br />

equality, taking care of mental wellbeing<br />

is key. Asking people how they<br />

are, uplifting them and offering help<br />

is just as important as being on the<br />

front lines for Black people.<br />

‘It does take a village’: How a new student<br />

organization is fighting the prison system<br />

KAYLA SOLINO<br />

STAFF REPORTER<br />

Tide Against Time is a new<br />

organization dedicated to educating<br />

students about mass incarceration<br />

and the Alabama prison system.<br />

Kaila Pouncy, a junior on the prelaw<br />

track majoring in criminal justice<br />

and political science, worked on the<br />

idea for the organization over the last<br />

year and held the first meeting for<br />

Tide Against Time on Friday, Jan. 21,<br />

via Zoom.<br />

Pouncy said her advocacy against<br />

mass incarceration was spurred by<br />

an internship experience that allowed<br />

her to sit in on court proceedings.<br />

“I recently had a federal internship<br />

with a judge in Tuscaloosa this past<br />

summer,” she said. “And so he let us<br />

observe a lot of court proceedings,<br />

a lot of hearings. I immediately<br />

became very sensitive to the issues<br />

of the community, seeing the type<br />

of things that people go through on<br />

an individual basis, and how certain<br />

political and socioeconomic trends<br />

affect the lives of different people.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> United States’ incarcerated<br />

population has increased by 500%<br />

since 1970. Despite only making up<br />

around 5% of the world’s population,<br />

the U.S. is home to more than 20% of<br />

the world’s incarcerated population,<br />

according to the American Civil<br />

Liberties Union. In the state of<br />

Alabama, more than 46,000 people<br />

are incarcerated in either local jails or<br />

state and federal prisons.<br />

Pouncy said part of the creation<br />

of Tide Against Time was centered<br />

around creating a space for people<br />

of color and other minorities that<br />

are disproportionately affected by<br />

mass incarceration.<br />

“I felt like making this club at the<br />

University would be an amazing way<br />

to make people aware of those issues,<br />

and would give us a great opportunity<br />

to engage in service opportunities<br />

and advocacy opportunities that<br />

would give us the chance to touch<br />

people who have been impacted by<br />

the system,” Pouncy said.<br />

One in 3 Black boys and 1 in 6<br />

Latino boys can expect to go to prison<br />

in their lifetimes. One in 17 white<br />

boys face the same fate. Women are<br />

the fastest-growing incarcerated<br />

population in the U.S.<br />

Pouncy said she wants to bring<br />

attention to the issue of mass<br />

incarceration, educate individuals<br />

and make change in her community<br />

through the establishment of<br />

Tide Against Time. She hopes<br />

to organize projects to spread<br />

awareness in addition to organizing<br />

relevant, impactful service projects<br />

for students.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> mission of Tide Against Time<br />

at the University is really to educate<br />

students on the institution of mass<br />

incarceration in the American criminal<br />

justice system, and specifically to<br />

advocate for criminal justice reforms<br />

that promote education systems,<br />

health systems, systems of safety,<br />

rehabilitation, etc. within the prison<br />

system,” Pouncy said. “I feel like the<br />

overall goal of the organization is to<br />

strive to conquer these political and<br />

socioeconomic issues.”<br />

Tide Against Time shares similar<br />

motivations with another student<br />

group on campus, Alabama Students<br />

Against Prisons. ASAP was first<br />

established to represent student<br />

perspectives on incarceration and<br />

to protest Gov. Kay Ivey’s leasing of<br />

two new private, mega-prisons in the<br />

state, which will cost taxpayers $3<br />

billion over 30 years.<br />

Pouncy said it’s important to<br />

spread awareness about the range<br />

of incarceration issues that occur<br />

in Alabama, including increased<br />

prison expansion, COVID-19<br />

concerns, mental health issues and<br />

sexual assault.<br />

In 2018, Alabama prisons had a<br />

homicide rate 600% greater than the<br />

national average. Sexual abuse, drug<br />

overdoses, inadequate mental health<br />

treatment and uncontrollable violence<br />

have been reported in prisons across<br />

the state.<br />

In December 2020, the U.S.<br />

Department of <strong>Justice</strong> filed a lawsuit<br />

against the state of Alabama for the<br />

“unconstitutional conditions” in state<br />

prisons for men.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> United States Constitution<br />

requires Alabama to make sure that<br />

its prisons are safe and humane,”<br />

said Eric Dreiband, the assistant<br />

attorney general for the Department<br />

of <strong>Justice</strong> Civil Rights Division. “<strong>The</strong><br />

Department of <strong>Justice</strong> conducted a<br />

thorough investigation of Alabama’s<br />

prisons for men and determined<br />

that Alabama violated and is<br />

continuing to violate the Constitution<br />

because its prisons are riddled with<br />

prisoner-on-prisoner and guardon-prisoner<br />

violence. <strong>The</strong> violations<br />

have led to homicides, rapes, and<br />

serious injuries.”<br />

Pouncy said further expansions of<br />

unsafe prisons would be a mistake.<br />

“I feel like Alabama is making<br />

a really big mistake with prison<br />

funding,” Pouncy said. “Especially<br />

during the pandemic, the prisons,<br />

as well as the jails, are some of the<br />

least-safe places to be throughout<br />

this pandemic.”<br />

In October <strong>2021</strong>, Ivey signed a<br />

$1.3 billion prison construction bill.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bill allows the construction of<br />

at least two new prisons that will<br />

hold a combined 8,000 individuals.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Senate approved the use of<br />

$400 million in COVID-19 funds<br />

designed specifically for state and<br />

local governments to use for the<br />

prison expansion.<br />

Pouncy said Tide Against Time<br />

is open to any student interested in<br />

learning more about the Alabama<br />

prison system and mass incarceration.<br />

“It really warms my heart to see<br />

people on campus wanting to learn<br />

and willing to help and make their<br />

impact in this community,” Pouncy<br />

said. “It does take a village. I feel<br />

like the first step to conquering this<br />

problem on a wide scale is to be aware<br />

of what’s going on.”<br />

Courtesy of Tide Against Time


CW / Jo Dyess<br />

JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

Though restorative justice may have<br />

had its start in the criminal law system, the<br />

term has broadened to address society on<br />

a larger scale and encourage the reflection<br />

of our history to spark more thoughtful<br />

conversations and purposeful change.<br />

According to Edutopia, in the legal<br />

system, restorative justice emphasizes<br />

repairing the harm done to people and<br />

relationships by rehabilitating offenders<br />

and offering them a chance to reconcile<br />

with victims and the community rather<br />

than exclusively punishing them.<br />

Advocates for restorative justice today<br />

suggest policymakers should aim to make<br />

justice systems truly correctional. By<br />

supporting the rehabilitation of offenders<br />

and offering them access to higher<br />

education, the chance to heal relationships,<br />

and acceptance when transferring back<br />

into the community, advocates hope to<br />

achieve lower recidivism rates.<br />

Brenita Softley, a third-year UA law<br />

student, said restorative justice is about<br />

focusing on how people can be made<br />

whole again based on a justice system that<br />

is made to tear them down.<br />

“Giving the option of restorative<br />

justice can help heal on both parts, so I<br />

think that’s really important to look at,”<br />

Softley said.<br />

She said society needs to work on<br />

changing its implicit biases so that<br />

everyone can be seen as redeemable.<br />

I think part of the key<br />

is to imagine being an<br />

academic community<br />

in a different way,<br />

that means being ever<br />

more present and<br />

thoughtful of those<br />

that lived near us and<br />

around us, but aren’t<br />

necessarily part of our<br />

campus formally.<br />

JOHN GIGGIE<br />

“In order to do that, we really need to<br />

focus on changing the way people think,”<br />

Softley said.<br />

She hopes the criminal legal system<br />

today can start taking action toward<br />

rehabilitating offenders and opening up<br />

conversations that will lead to healing for<br />

every party in these situations.<br />

“I think it’s really important to study<br />

the law through a lens of history, but<br />

also study the law through a lens of<br />

compassion as well,” Softley said. “Rather<br />

than just labeling the person as a ‘monster,’<br />

or ‘unredeemable,’ restorative justice<br />

helps you to get past the things that<br />

you’ve done.”<br />

History<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama has a<br />

complex history, and professors on<br />

campus have been working to take a<br />

holistic approach to how its history is told.<br />

This has been done through historical<br />

markers that honor the history and<br />

Restorative justice rehabilitates<br />

SAVANNAH ICHIKAWA & MARY CLAIRE WOOTEN<br />

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS<br />

experiences of Black students at the<br />

University. Hilary Green, an associate<br />

professor of history in the Department<br />

of Gender and Race Studies created the<br />

Hallowed Grounds walking tour in 2016<br />

“to shed light onto the lives, experiences<br />

and legacy of the many enslaved<br />

men, women and children who lived,<br />

worked and even died at the University<br />

of Alabama.”<br />

It is important that the University<br />

makes this progress a sustained effort.<br />

Jenny Shaw, an associate professor<br />

in the Department of History, said that<br />

in 2018 the Faculty Senate passed a<br />

resolution for the University to establish<br />

a formal commission to investigate the<br />

history of race, slavery and civil rights<br />

on campus.<br />

According to the proposal, the<br />

resolution’s purpose is to share the “rich<br />

and diverse history of UA from its slave<br />

past to its continued trajectory toward<br />

becoming a more diverse and inclusive<br />

campus since the first African American<br />

students enrolled.”<br />

“If we’re thinking about taking<br />

seriously the history of race, slavery and<br />

civil rights at <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama,<br />

the only way to do that is to look at all of<br />

it as holistically as possible,” Shaw said.<br />

“I don’t think that anything or anyone is<br />

benefited from turning away from things,<br />

or deciding that you don’t need to know<br />

the whole history.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faculty Senate said this<br />

commission would build on previous<br />

efforts such as the slavery apology marker,<br />

the Autherine Lucy Foster historical<br />

marker, and Malone-Hood Plaza, to<br />

continue its strides toward a more<br />

inclusive and diverse campus.<br />

“What I think is really important is<br />

that the whole process, and particularly<br />

the discoveries, are made as accessible as<br />

possible to anyone who wants to be able to<br />

see them,” Shaw said.<br />

This work will enable the team to<br />

create a website displaying the University’s<br />

research, documents and history. After the<br />

website launches, the University will also<br />

be able to join the Universities Studying<br />

Slavery consortium, a multi-institutional<br />

collaboration focused on guiding truthtelling<br />

projects in institutional histories.<br />

“It’s a very first step, but if it’s a step<br />

that leads to better, more productive<br />

conversations and then potentially and<br />

eventually some kind of action, that I<br />

think is what anyone would hope for in<br />

this kind of scenario,” Shaw said.<br />

responsibility for their actions.<br />

Taylor highlighted how restorative<br />

justice can inspire the ways people look<br />

at movement and change. For it to be<br />

implemented correctly, there must be full<br />

participation and authentic conversations.<br />

“One of the biggest things that is<br />

missing from the justice conversation<br />

today is courage,” Taylor said. “I think<br />

people probably see a whole lot of stuff<br />

every day and hear a lot of stuff every day,<br />

but do they have the courage to disrupt<br />

that behavior?”<br />

John Giggie, an associate professor in<br />

the history department, said restorative<br />

justice began as a concept in criminal law,<br />

aiming to give voices to individuals who<br />

were underrepresented and denied justice<br />

for too long.<br />

However, he said restorative justice<br />

isn’t a punishment orientation, but a more<br />

empathetic type of reform; it has taken<br />

on a broader role that can be applied to<br />

law, American culture, communities and<br />

society in general.<br />

Giggie said the University has<br />

enormous power within the state and<br />

region and, because of that, has the<br />

opportunity to be a leader in encouraging<br />

education, awareness and action toward<br />

restorative justice practices.<br />

He said it is important to look at<br />

what restorative justice means for young<br />

people and the role the University plays<br />

in that, “not simply the University<br />

as a research mechanism, but as a<br />

teaching organization.”<br />

Giggie has implemented courses and<br />

programs that allow students to further<br />

explore the subject matter that inspires<br />

them. Some of these include religious civil<br />

rights and queer history classes, a summer<br />

social justice academy, a program with the<br />

Equal <strong>Justice</strong> Initiative in Montgomery,<br />

and Black history classes at Central<br />

High School.<br />

“I think part of the key is to imagine<br />

being an academic community in a<br />

different way. That means being ever<br />

more present and thoughtful of those that<br />

lived near us and around us, but aren’t<br />

necessarily part of our campus formally,”<br />

Giggie said.<br />

He said he feels led by his students<br />

and locals in the Tuscaloosa community<br />

when it comes to identifying what type of<br />

action can be taken to engage individuals<br />

in these projects and better showcase<br />

Alabama’s history.<br />

“I think their understanding of what<br />

constitutes value, what constitutes history,<br />

is something we don’t always pay attention<br />

to, but they can teach us a lot,” Giggie said.<br />

Restorative justice requires people to<br />

push boundaries and think creatively to<br />

promote change and pave the way for the<br />

future. This practice sparks conversations<br />

5A<br />

of empathy for everyone involved.<br />

By taking into account the harm that<br />

has been done to a community while also<br />

understanding the factors that caused the<br />

offender’s behavior, it is possible to work<br />

toward reconciliation and healing for<br />

everyone involved.<br />

“What if we reorientate our<br />

understanding of kids acting out or<br />

youthful offenders and root it more in<br />

their mental health histories or family<br />

histories,” Giggie said. “<strong>The</strong>n all of a<br />

sudden that can lead to empathy and<br />

that can lead to policy change. I really<br />

believe that.<br />

One of the biggest<br />

things that is missing<br />

from the justice<br />

conversation today is<br />

courage.<br />

G. CHRISTINE<br />

TAYLOR<br />

<strong>The</strong>re have also been moves toward<br />

restorative justice in the University’s<br />

theater department. Restorative justice<br />

as an art form requires the ability to take<br />

harmful words and imagery and remediate<br />

them into something to be celebrated and<br />

examined to empower future generations<br />

In this vein, the University’s<br />

production of “<strong>The</strong> Colored Museum,”<br />

a play composed of 11 separate “miniplays”<br />

challenging and satirizing racial<br />

stereotypes and briefly diving into the<br />

experiences of queer people of color, is an<br />

act of restorative justice.<br />

Christian Tripp, the play’s director<br />

and a full-time instructor in the theater<br />

department, said his main goal in<br />

choosing “<strong>The</strong> Colored Museum” was<br />

to find a play that would best serve the<br />

students on campus and the greater<br />

Tuscaloosa community.<br />

Tripp described the play’s commentary<br />

as a great conversation starter on what<br />

it means to be Black in this period of<br />

history, even though the play was written<br />

decades ago.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> big overall message I want<br />

the audience to walk away with is the<br />

questioning of their own preconceived<br />

notions of what it means to be Black,”<br />

Tripp said. “For a typical American,<br />

theatrical audience, for them to be able to<br />

go home and question what they laughed<br />

at. And for the atypical audience — the<br />

Black audience most often — for that<br />

perspective I would hope they would<br />

take away a sense of reclaiming their own<br />

images, their own voice, their own power.”<br />

Representing Students in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court,<br />

Tuscaloosa District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

Criminal Case Expungements<br />

205-454-7500<br />

On campus Representing Students in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court,<br />

Tuscaloosa District 705 27th Avenue Court, Tuscaloosa Northport Alabama Municipal 35401 Court, and<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s Division of Diversity,<br />

No representation<br />

Equity and Inclusion has worked to<br />

Criminal is made Case that the quality Expungements<br />

of legal services to be performed is<br />

greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.<br />

implement values of inclusiveness Representing Students in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court,<br />

across campus.<br />

205-454-7500<br />

Tuscaloosa District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

G. Christine Taylor, the University’s<br />

Criminal Case Expungements<br />

vice president and associate provost of Representing Students in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court,<br />

diversity, equity and inclusion, said that in<br />

205-454-7500<br />

Tuscaloosa<br />

order for restorative justice to be effective, Representing District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

it must start small. Enacting real change,<br />

705 27th Avenue Criminal<br />

Students<br />

Tuscaloosa Case<br />

in Tuscaloosa Expungements<br />

Municipal Court,<br />

Tuscaloosa District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

Alabama 35401<br />

she said, requires difficult conversations.<br />

Criminal Case Expungements<br />

205-454-7500<br />

“Nowadays ... you’re able to say No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is<br />

something or put something in the greater<br />

205-454-7500<br />

than<br />

705<br />

the<br />

27th<br />

quality<br />

Avenue<br />

of legal<br />

Tuscaloosa<br />

services<br />

Alabama<br />

performed<br />

35401<br />

by other lawyers.<br />

atmosphere and never fully understand No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is<br />

the impact of what you did,” Taylor said.<br />

greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.<br />

Restorative justice enables offenders<br />

705 27th Avenue Tuscaloosa Alabama 35401<br />

to understand the consequences of No representation 705 27th is Avenue made that Tuscaloosa the quality of Alabama legal services 35401 to be performed is<br />

their behavior, see how a situation<br />

greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.<br />

impacted lives, and take ownership and<br />

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is<br />

greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.


6A<br />

JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

Forgot your mom’s<br />

Prime password?<br />

Time for your Prime<br />

Student account.<br />

Fast delivery, entertainment, exclusive<br />

deals for students, and more. Start your<br />

6-month trial.<br />

amazon.com/UofAlabama1


JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

‘STEPPING INTO BATTLE’:<br />

<strong>The</strong> state of women’s safety<br />

1B<br />

LUCY PHILLIPS<br />

STAFF REPORTER<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Nations Entity for<br />

Gender Equality and Empowerment<br />

of Women recently published a study<br />

that found that 97% of the women<br />

surveyed had experienced some form of<br />

sexual harassment.<br />

After the research was published,<br />

“97%” became the label of a viral internet<br />

movement to raise awareness for women’s<br />

right to safety in the public sphere and to<br />

push for the end of sexual harassment.<br />

Women started using the hashtag<br />

#97percent in TikTok videos to share their<br />

stories of sexual harassment and sexual<br />

violence, and in Instagram posts where<br />

users linked women’s rights charities<br />

and organizations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> harsh reality in the 21st century is<br />

that while women have achieved a form of<br />

equality in terms of written legislation, they<br />

are far from achieving it in practice, as they<br />

are socially and economically inferior to<br />

their male counterparts.<br />

One of the most brutal ways this<br />

inequality manifests is in women’s lack of<br />

public safety.<br />

“I try to never walk anywhere alone,<br />

especially at night and if I am walking<br />

somewhere alone, to my car or even on<br />

campus, I try to be on the phone with<br />

a friend or my mom or someone,” said<br />

Fatema Dhondia, the former president<br />

of the United Greek Council and a junior<br />

majoring in mechanical engineering<br />

and German.<br />

Many women are able to rattle off<br />

a laundry list of precautions they take<br />

throughout the day to stay safe: Check<br />

underneath cars and backseats before<br />

driving anywhere; remove identifying<br />

stickers and pins from cars and backpacks;<br />

hold house keys between knuckles when<br />

walking through a parking garage.<br />

Jennifer Purvis, the University of<br />

Alabama women’s studies director, said<br />

experiencing sexual harassment and the<br />

constant need to stay alert factor into<br />

women’s sense of well-being and even<br />

their personalities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama offers<br />

organizations, resources and programming<br />

aimed at protecting women. Dhondia<br />

has invited a plethora of speakers to give<br />

presentations to her and her sorority sisters<br />

about tips to stay safe, the warning signs of<br />

human trafficking, how to react in possibly<br />

dangerous situations and more.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University even offers a threecredit<br />

kinesiology course in self-defense<br />

for female students called KIN 155, Self<br />

Defense for Women.<br />

<strong>The</strong> course’s purpose, according to<br />

the UA course catalog, is “to provide the<br />

student with the knowledge and skills<br />

that will enhance the student’s ability to<br />

defend herself in case of physical or sexual<br />

assault as well as to enhance her overall<br />

personal safety.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> course is open to students of any<br />

major, and no prerequisites are required.<br />

“Taking [KIN 155] is one of the best<br />

decisions I’ve made. I learned so many tips<br />

and skills that I will utilize throughout the<br />

rest of my life,” Dhondia said. “I recommend<br />

every female student take this class if she<br />

has the chance.”<br />

Dhondia said she and her sorority sisters<br />

appreciated the education and the support,<br />

but they are left frustrated that women<br />

have to be briefed as if stepping into battle<br />

when they are taught simply how to exist<br />

in public.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are not<br />

entering the<br />

battlefield<br />

unarmed. <strong>The</strong><br />

market today is<br />

overwhelmed<br />

with gadgets<br />

and inventions<br />

advertised to<br />

aid women’s safety.<br />

Women will carry<br />

lipstick tasers and pink<br />

pepper sprays, wear nail polish that<br />

detects date rape drugs, don scrunchies<br />

that can be used to cover their drinks,<br />

grip brass- knuckle<br />

keychains, snap-on alarm<br />

bracelets and more.<br />

Purvis said solutions that address the<br />

actions of the victim and not the aggressor<br />

will never solve the core issues from which<br />

these problems stem.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se safety measures are taken to an<br />

even greater degree in the context of parties.<br />

“All [women] know the most important<br />

thing is to never be alone,” said Dezirae<br />

Cunningham, the president of the UA<br />

student organization Women of Excellence<br />

and a senior majoring in public health. “You<br />

have to have people around you, watching<br />

out for you, making sure you never walk<br />

anywhere by yourself, and that there aren’t<br />

people taking advantage of you if you<br />

happen to be drinking. We, as women,<br />

aren’t really ever allowed to relax.”<br />

Bars recognize the dangers women face<br />

and have implemented measures to protect<br />

them, such as the Angel Shot, which isn’t<br />

an actual drink, but a sort of code word<br />

that women can use to alert bartenders that<br />

they are uncomfortable or in danger. <strong>The</strong><br />

bartender can take appropriate action —<br />

intervening, calling the police or removing<br />

the patron making the woman feel unsafe.<br />

Several bars have security personnel<br />

who will walk women to their cars if they<br />

request it.<br />

Dhondia said the UGC regularly informs<br />

its members of these resources available<br />

to them.<br />

Many sororities make sure their<br />

members know safety protocols, such as<br />

never leaving drinks unattended, never<br />

accepting an open beverage, drinking out of<br />

bottles or cans when possible, and covering<br />

the openings of drinks.<br />

Spiking is a well-known danger<br />

to women, especially on and around<br />

college campuses.<br />

<strong>The</strong> American Psychology Association<br />

found that almost 8% of students surveyed<br />

across three major universities reported<br />

having been drugged via a drink at some<br />

point. <strong>The</strong> study also said that “women<br />

were more likely to report sexual assault<br />

as a motive while men more often said the<br />

purpose was ‘to have fun.”<br />

“I think that at the root of solving<br />

this problem is to educate both men and<br />

women about the issues women face,”<br />

Cunningham said.<br />

Purvis said the only way to see lasting<br />

reform is to overhaul sex education in the<br />

United States, because comprehensive<br />

sex education is one of the best tools in<br />

the fight for justice for women, and it is<br />

severely underutilized.<br />

When conscious work isn’t done to<br />

change the cultural climate that<br />

demands women live in these<br />

conditions, the consequences<br />

are deadly.<br />

Prolific violence<br />

against women is<br />

a cultural truth<br />

every woman has<br />

been prepared for since<br />

a young age. However, the<br />

media and popular culture<br />

Women of Excellence is a student organization dedicated to empowering African American women.<br />

Courtesy of Women of Excellence<br />

do not treat all crimes against women the<br />

same and do not necessarily treat those they<br />

do choose to cover in a sensitive manner.<br />

According to an article by NPR, “tens<br />

of thousands of Black girls and women go<br />

missing every year. Last year, that figure<br />

was nearly 100,000.” <strong>The</strong>se cases are rarely<br />

featured in national headlines.<br />

“Missing white woman syndrome”<br />

refers to the mass hysteria that takes hold<br />

of Western media when an attractive white<br />

woman goes missing– the attention and<br />

concern that is suspiciously absent from<br />

the news when women of color disappear<br />

in similar cases. <strong>The</strong> phenomenon is meant<br />

to highlight the objectification of women,<br />

the desensitization of the public to violence<br />

against women and the discrimination<br />

faced by women of color.<br />

“It’s honestly exhausting to be a woman<br />

who already doesn’t feel safe, but on top<br />

of that to know that no one would say<br />

anything if something were to happen to<br />

me,” Cunningham said.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se ideas were recently reignited<br />

when news of Lauren Smith-Fields’ death<br />

and her family’s subsequent lawsuit against<br />

the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was<br />

made public.<br />

Smith-Fields was 23 years old when she<br />

was found dead in her apartment, and the<br />

last person she was known to be with was an<br />

older white man she had met on the dating<br />

app Bumble. <strong>The</strong> man was not considered a<br />

suspect and was not investigated in Smith-<br />

Fields’ disappearance and death.<br />

Smith-Fields’ family is now suing<br />

the city of Bridgeport for “failure to<br />

prosecute and failure to protect under the<br />

14th Amendment.”<br />

“Missing white woman syndrome” and<br />

Smith-Fields’ death serve to reemphasize<br />

the importance of intersectionality in<br />

modern feminist movements.<br />

“Intersectional feminism illuminates the<br />

connections between all fights for justice<br />

and liberation. It shows us that fighting for<br />

equality means not only turning the tables<br />

on gender injustices but rooting out all<br />

forms of oppression,” an article published by<br />

UN Women said. “It serves as a framework<br />

through which to build inclusive, robust<br />

movements that work to solve overlapping<br />

forms of discrimination, simultaneously.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama chapter of United for<br />

Reproductive & Gender Equity<br />

holds this idea central to<br />

its mission as it fights for<br />

reproductive justice in the<br />

United States. In addition<br />

to engaging in activism for<br />

women’s rights, the chapter<br />

also speaks about racial<br />

justice and justice<br />

CW / Jo Dyess<br />

for the LGBTQ community, including<br />

achieving accessibility to comprehensive<br />

health care for all individuals.<br />

Reproductive justice demands<br />

intersectionality because of<br />

the consequences of a lack of<br />

reproductive rights.<br />

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court heard<br />

the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s<br />

Health Organization. <strong>The</strong> case surrounded<br />

a Mississippi law that would ban abortions<br />

after 15 weeks. <strong>The</strong> decision would<br />

potentially undermine and lead to the<br />

overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark<br />

Supreme Court case that protects pregnant<br />

people’s bodily autonomy and has been<br />

used to rule restrictive abortion laws<br />

unconstitutional for the past 50 years.<br />

Such a decision would disproportionately<br />

affect socioeconomically disadvantaged<br />

and minority communities. According to<br />

research from the Guttmacher Institute,<br />

restrictive laws against abortion do not stop<br />

abortions but rather reduce women’s access<br />

to safe abortions.<br />

It’s honestly exhausting<br />

to be a woman who<br />

already doesn’t feel<br />

safe, but on top of that<br />

to know that no one<br />

would say anything<br />

if something were to<br />

happen to me.<br />

DEZIRAE<br />

CUNNINGHAM<br />

“<strong>The</strong> data shows that abortion rates<br />

are roughly the same in countries where<br />

abortion is broadly legal and in countries<br />

where it isn’t,” Zara Ahmed, an associate<br />

director of federal issues for the Guttmacher<br />

Institute, said in an article for NBC.<br />

Beyond the debates of the morality<br />

of abortion lies the devastating truth<br />

that attempting to force women to carry<br />

pregnancies to term only serves to harm the<br />

mother, the child and the communities they<br />

are a part of.<br />

“We don’t have child care services in<br />

high schools and colleges or a lot of services<br />

available, so people ... are going to have to<br />

quit college or in some cases be kicked out<br />

of their families,” Purvis said. “It would be<br />

disastrous, especially because there’s not the<br />

support there.”<br />

Research from the Pew Research Center<br />

found that a majority of the American<br />

public supports abortion rights. Purvis<br />

explained that, should Roe v. Wade be<br />

overturned in 2022, she believes that the<br />

U.S. population would not be silent and that<br />

the decision would not last long.<br />

Purvis said she doesn’t know how it<br />

would manifest, but she doesn’t believe<br />

society would allow it to stand.<br />

URGE is one of several organizations<br />

across the country mobilizing people in the<br />

fight for reproductive rights.<br />

“URGE does sex education and<br />

sexual assault awareness programming,<br />

we provide information for health care<br />

access, we distribute Plan B and condoms<br />

when needed, we write letter campaigns<br />

to policymakers,” said Sarah Lib Patrick,<br />

the president of URGE UA and a senior<br />

majoring in restorative justice and civil<br />

rights studies.


2B<br />

JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

OPINION: UA’s activism is performative<br />

CW File<br />

ALEX JOBIN<br />

STAFF COLUMNIST<br />

Both the Ferguson Student Center<br />

and A.B. Moore Hall were recently<br />

renamed as the UA Student Center and<br />

Archie Wade Hall, respectively.<br />

This follows the renaming of<br />

other buildings in 2020, including<br />

Honors Hall, the English Building and<br />

Presidents Hall — formerly known as<br />

Nott Hall, Morgan Hall and Manly Hall,<br />

respectively, all namesakes of notorious<br />

racists from the University’s past.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no question that this<br />

renaming initiative, spearheaded by the<br />

trustees’ building names working group,<br />

has been a necessary step in seeing the<br />

University reckon with its deeply racist<br />

past. However, it is frankly embarrassing<br />

that it has taken this long for the<br />

University to realize that our campus<br />

should not pay homage to members<br />

of the Ku Klux Klan and infamous<br />

white supremacists.<br />

This recent movement to rename<br />

University buildings has not been the<br />

only reminder that the University<br />

still has a long way to go in terms of<br />

racial progress.<br />

Less than a decade ago, UA sororities<br />

were still denying Black women entry<br />

because of their race, and integration<br />

only occurred in 2013 after intensive<br />

media coverage. Even today, Black<br />

sorority members face discrimination<br />

and underrepresentation. In December<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, Alpha Phi member Kylie Klueger<br />

sent a racist text to a group message<br />

that included then-Alpha Phi President<br />

Katherine Anthony. This resulted in<br />

Klueger’s removal from the sorority and<br />

Anthony’s ousting from the presidency.<br />

Before this most recent incident,<br />

Alpha Phi had multiple other scandals<br />

involving racist behavior (like the<br />

expulsion of member Harley Barber in<br />

2018 for using racial slurs in a video).<br />

Again, these instances expose a<br />

sort of shallowness in the University’s<br />

outwardly progressive appearance. If<br />

we are so committed to diversity, equity<br />

and inclusion as a campus, then why<br />

is our Greek life (which constitutes<br />

approximately 35% of the undergraduate<br />

student body) seemingly a hotbed of<br />

exclusion and bigotry?<br />

<strong>The</strong> University at large must consider<br />

taking further action — beyond simple<br />

claims of inclusion and the renaming of<br />

buildings — in order to ensure that our<br />

community goes beyond performative<br />

activism and actually works toward<br />

honest systemic progress.<br />

For one, the committee should<br />

heed the advice of the United Campus<br />

Workers of Alabama Local 3965 and<br />

make the building renaming a more<br />

democratic process. Currently there is<br />

a lack of transparency in the process,<br />

and the committee is only made up<br />

of trustees. Staff, students and faculty<br />

should be included to ensure that future<br />

decisions made by the committee come<br />

from a diverse background and consider<br />

the input of the people who work and<br />

learn in these buildings every single<br />

day of the semester. Such a step would<br />

also help to curb the bias created by any<br />

donor influence.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University should listen to<br />

members of Greek life who wish to<br />

improve diversity and inclusion within<br />

fraternities and sororities. In December<br />

2020, Joshua Gill of the historically<br />

Black Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity<br />

encouraged the University to plan more<br />

mandatory events bringing Black and<br />

white organizations together; no such<br />

events have happened. Nor is there any<br />

transparency from faculty members<br />

on whether they are taking steps to<br />

address these situations further, to hold<br />

individuals accountable or to put a real<br />

end to this recurring problem.<br />

And, on an individual level, students<br />

can commit to making a difference<br />

whenever and wherever we can.<br />

Members of Greek organizations<br />

can promote greater inclusion, those<br />

involved in other student organizations<br />

can do the same, and we can all stand up<br />

and say something whenever we identify<br />

inequities within our community.<br />

More specifically, students can hold<br />

their organizations accountable by<br />

reaching out to the Division of Diversity,<br />

Equity and Inclusion, UAct, or even <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> when they recognize<br />

that something is wrong. <strong>The</strong> progress<br />

that we have seen so far has almost always<br />

been sparked by individuals speaking<br />

out and extensive media coverage; these<br />

are avenues that we can continue to use<br />

to effect change. Beyond this, students<br />

who share common concerns can come<br />

together to define real solutions and<br />

voice their concerns to the University<br />

through organizations they are a part of.<br />

It is one thing to claim to value<br />

diversity, equity and inclusion. It is<br />

another thing entirely to actively pursue<br />

the realization of those stated values. At<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama, we must all<br />

devote ourselves to real progress — not<br />

just performative activism.<br />

If you are interested in finding<br />

organizations on campus that are<br />

committed to effecting change, I<br />

encourage you to visit mySOURCE.<br />

BOOKS<br />

FOR THE<br />

BLACK BELT<br />

JAN 31 - FEB 25, 2022<br />

Why?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama Black Belt includes<br />

some of the poorest counties in<br />

the USA. We want to provide new<br />

or gently used K-12 books of any<br />

genre, especially STEM and ACT<br />

Prep Books, so children in the<br />

Black Belt can develop a love of<br />

learning and reading.<br />

Where?<br />

Tuomey Hall<br />

Honors Hall<br />

Reese Phifer Rotunda<br />

Oliver-Barnard Hall<br />

SGA Office<br />

Off Campus:<br />

Mildred Westervelt Warner<br />

Transportation Museum<br />

uaced.ua.edu/books-for-the-black-belt<br />

Shop Boots,<br />

Jeans, & Hats<br />

at <strong>The</strong> Wharf<br />

in Northport<br />

Questions? Contact Sally Brown 205-348-8344 or uaced@ua.edu<br />

220 Mcfarland Blvd N (205)-752-2075


JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

3B<br />

‘An open and welcoming space’:<br />

How UA is prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion<br />

JENNIFER BAGGETT<br />

CONTRIBUTING WRITER<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama’s<br />

Division of Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion provides leadership for the<br />

advancement of inclusiveness in learning<br />

environments, programs, workforce and<br />

strategic partnerships.<br />

<strong>The</strong> division has four primary<br />

goals: recruit, retain and graduate<br />

more diverse students; recruit, retain<br />

and promote more diverse faculty<br />

and staff; build a more inclusive and<br />

welcoming campus environment; and<br />

develop a more culturally competent<br />

campus community.<br />

Since joining the University in<br />

August 2017, G. Christine Taylor, the<br />

vice president and associate provost<br />

for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has<br />

stressed the importance of intentionality<br />

in improving student diversity at<br />

the University.<br />

“I’m really excited about the<br />

opportunities that we all have here at<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama to create a<br />

campus that is much more welcoming<br />

and inclusive and that allows an<br />

opportunity to unlearn some things<br />

and to relearn other important things,”<br />

Taylor said.<br />

Taylor’s office has a number of<br />

ongoing campus efforts to reach out to<br />

students and staff.<br />

Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion spaces and events<br />

<strong>The</strong> professionally staffed Intercultural<br />

Diversity Center moved to a central<br />

location in <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

Student Center in 2020. <strong>The</strong> center<br />

serves as a hub for cultural learning,<br />

teaching and sharing. Before then, there<br />

was no central location for the center.<br />

Taylor said the Intercultural Diversity<br />

Center is “first of all a space that is for<br />

the University of Alabama, all students,<br />

all faculty, and all staff.”<br />

Our goal is to continue<br />

to be a safe haven<br />

for students from all<br />

over. <strong>The</strong> program<br />

has been invigorated<br />

over the past year and<br />

continues to grow and<br />

expand in popularity.<br />

LISA SMITH<br />

“It may find itself often populated<br />

with diverse students but it's an open<br />

and welcoming space for everyone,”<br />

Taylor said. “<strong>The</strong> way we describe it is<br />

as a place for cultural learning, cultural<br />

teaching, and cultural sharing.”<br />

Events at the Intercultural Diversity<br />

Center include Diversity, Coffee and<br />

Conversations. Programs are tied to<br />

the commemorative month currently<br />

being celebrated.<br />

Parnab Das is a doctoral candidate in<br />

the College of Engineering.<br />

“It's very beneficial for me as an<br />

international student on campus,<br />

because I get to know other people<br />

domestic as well as international, learn<br />

from them, their culture, their thoughts<br />

and perspectives,” Das said. “Sometimes<br />

we discuss things like religion, faith,<br />

science, world politics, societal barriers,<br />

sexualities and all those things.”<br />

During Native American Heritage<br />

Month, a colleague from another campus<br />

who was Navajo joined via Zoom and<br />

discussed her experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> meetings are open to faculty, staff<br />

and students with upcoming dates for<br />

spring 2022: Feb.1, March 1, April 5 and<br />

May 3.<br />

An initiative that provided a<br />

quantitative outcome to its success<br />

involved “Creating a More Welcoming<br />

Campus Community.” From September<br />

2020 to March <strong>2021</strong>, the Intercultural<br />

Diversity Center had 1,392 visitors,<br />

four watch party series, 11 social justice<br />

movie series, three virtual cooking<br />

demonstrations and 86 program<br />

partnerships with other departments<br />

and student organizations, among<br />

other events.<br />

<strong>The</strong> theme for this year’s Black History<br />

Month in <strong>February</strong> is Black health and<br />

wellness.<br />

“For each of our commemorative<br />

months, we try to make the first Tuesday<br />

event something that is educational and<br />

that people may not know about,” Taylor<br />

said. “We also build in time for people to<br />

share about the programs that they are<br />

doing or find ways to collaborate.”<br />

Incident reporting<br />

<strong>The</strong> Division of Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion also provides five methods<br />

of incident reporting for students who<br />

face discrimination on campus: the hate<br />

and bias hotline at 205-348-BIAS, the<br />

hate and bias reporting form, the Title<br />

IX information to report allegations of<br />

sexual misconduct, the student conduct<br />

reporting options, and the equal<br />

opportunity, nondiscriminiation and<br />

disability reporting tool.<br />

Incident reports go to a central space<br />

where they are parsed out depending on<br />

the details of the incident.<br />

“If someone finds themself<br />

experiencing a hate crime, we don’t<br />

want [students] out there experiencing<br />

and not reporting. Students need to<br />

make sure that they report — and that’s<br />

anything, because we cannot respond<br />

to things we do not know about,”<br />

Taylor said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Path Forward Report<br />

In 2020, Taylor spearheaded the<br />

Path Forward Report, which includes<br />

75 strategies for recruiting, retaining<br />

and graduating more diverse students,<br />

faculty and staff and creating a more<br />

welcoming campus community. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are four primary measurable qualities of<br />

success: minority enrollment, minority<br />

student retention rates, minority student<br />

graduation rates and a minority faculty<br />

headcount.<br />

In May <strong>2021</strong>, the University released<br />

a “Path Forward Progress Update.” <strong>The</strong><br />

update indicated the status of each<br />

goal as “completed,” “in-process,” or<br />

“to become a <strong>2021</strong>-22 initiative;” an<br />

update for each section with highlighted<br />

examples and an overall progress update<br />

for each strategy.<br />

<strong>The</strong> progress update was split<br />

into several categories. Regarding<br />

“Recruiting, Retaining and Graduating<br />

More Diverse Students,” a key outcome<br />

involved the Multicultural Visitation<br />

Program. This program provided a<br />

means of working collaboratively with<br />

Enrollment Management and the<br />

Academic Diversity Council. <strong>The</strong> first<br />

program was held in October 2020.<br />

“Recruiting and Retaining More<br />

Diverse Faculty and Staff ” is primarily<br />

focused on building infrastructure that<br />

will positively impact hiring procedures<br />

for new faculty. <strong>The</strong> outcomes were<br />

opportunities at the Higher Education<br />

Recruitment Consortium as well as<br />

support for faculty and staff to attend the<br />

9th Annual Faculty Women of Color in<br />

the Academy Virtual Conference.<br />

<strong>The</strong> entire 2020 Path Forward Progress<br />

Update (75 total recommendations)<br />

showed a completion percentage of<br />

11% with 42% in-process. This also<br />

included an additional 47% of the<br />

recommendations that are part of the<br />

<strong>2021</strong>-22 initiative plan.<br />

Future goals<br />

One of Taylor’s major goals for next<br />

year is to plan speaking engagements<br />

and other events so professors can utilize<br />

them better.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y can then build them into their<br />

syllabus. I think it would change our<br />

planning model and I think that is an<br />

important thing to do so that we can<br />

really be able to know what all sides are<br />

doing and allow people adequate time to<br />

plan. That’s one of my big goals in that<br />

we end up with a much more robust<br />

and preplanned calendar with as many<br />

of the major DEI events that we have<br />

occurring on this campus and share at<br />

the beginning of the academic year.”<br />

In addition to the Division of<br />

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion there are<br />

several college-based efforts. <strong>The</strong> College<br />

of Communication and Information<br />

Sciences provides an updated diversity<br />

plan that was approved by the faculty<br />

and staff in April 2019.<br />

Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program<br />

<strong>The</strong> Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program was established in May<br />

1987 through a joint grant from<br />

the National Action Council for<br />

Minorities in Engineering and the<br />

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. As a<br />

founding member institution of the<br />

Southeastern Consortium for Minorities<br />

in Engineering, the University has<br />

continued its long-term commitment to<br />

the pre-college effort.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program strategic plan has three goals<br />

that seek to support students at all levels<br />

in the College of Engineering. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

three goals are to increase the enrollment<br />

of academically qualified students<br />

from underrepresented populations, to<br />

develop comprehensive support services<br />

that ensure graduation success and<br />

to promote a diverse community that<br />

Courtesy of Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion<br />

encourages a career in engineering or<br />

computer science.<br />

Lisa Nicole Smith, the director of the<br />

Multicultural Engineering program and<br />

the manager for diversity, equity and<br />

inclusion for the College of Engineering,<br />

has over 16 years of experience in the<br />

recruitment and retention of highly<br />

desired, diverse populations.<br />

Smith reiterated these goals when<br />

discussing 2022.<br />

I’m really excited about<br />

the opportunities that<br />

we all have here at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama<br />

to create a campus<br />

that is much<br />

more welcoming<br />

and inclusive.<br />

G. CHRISTINE<br />

TAYLOR<br />

“Our goal is to continue to be<br />

a safe haven for students from all<br />

over,” Smith said. “<strong>The</strong> program has<br />

been reinvigorated over the past year<br />

and continues to grow and expand<br />

in popularity.”<br />

Smith said that the biggest initiative<br />

that has occurred since coming to the<br />

University in early <strong>2021</strong> “has been the<br />

creation of the center.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program can be found in Hardaway<br />

Hall rooms 172-175. Smith said the<br />

space was made to be “accommodating<br />

to students in order to be a place<br />

where students want to come and<br />

feel comfortable.” This included a<br />

deep clean, painting the walls and<br />

buying furniture.<br />

“I think the biggest impact that we<br />

have is showing students of color that<br />

they are not alone,” Smith said. “<strong>The</strong>re<br />

are 4,754 undergraduate students in the<br />

College of Engineering. Of this total<br />

number of undergraduate students, 415<br />

of them identify as African American<br />

(8.7%), 205 identify as Latino/Hispanic<br />

(4.3%), 10 identify as American Indian<br />

(0.2%), 125 identify as Asian (2.6%),<br />

255 identify as nonresident alien (5.4%)<br />

and 167 identify as 2 or more races<br />

(3.5%). Within these demographics, 34<br />

additional students chose not to disclose<br />

(0.7%). This is all compared to the<br />

contrast of 3,537 that identify as white<br />

(74.4%). We realized when looking at<br />

numbers like this that spaces like [the<br />

multicultural center] are completely<br />

necessary and are appropriate because<br />

what we want to do is to foster a<br />

community and make sure that students<br />

understand that they are not alone.”<br />

UA lobbies new bill in response to critical race theory<br />

ZACH JOHNSON<br />

NEWS EDITOR<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama System<br />

collaborated with the state legislature<br />

to create legislation that protects<br />

Alabama universities’ freedom over<br />

their curricula.<br />

<strong>The</strong> joint effort between the state<br />

legislature and the Higher Education<br />

Alliance resulted in a new piece of<br />

legislation in response to legislators’<br />

concerns about critical race theory in<br />

higher education.<br />

Faculty Senate members spoke out<br />

in October after House Bill 8 and<br />

House Bill 11, which seek to prevent<br />

universities from teaching critical<br />

race theory and related concepts,<br />

were prefiled in the legislature.<br />

Clay Ryan, senior vice chancellor<br />

for external affairs for the UA System,<br />

said a new piece of legislation is in<br />

the works that will satisfy legislators’<br />

goals while maintaining professors’<br />

integrity in the classroom.<br />

“If we have a piece of legislation<br />

that allows the teacher to teach what<br />

they know, and allows the student<br />

to consider it, be knowledgeable<br />

about it, but not agree with it, that<br />

is an intellectually honest and sound<br />

position to arrive at,” Ryan said.<br />

Ryan said that he was encouraged<br />

that legislators understand the<br />

importance of universities’<br />

academic freedom.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new bill cannot be introduced<br />

until the state legislature exits the<br />

current special session on distributing<br />

COVID-19 relief funds. Ryan did not<br />

share the language of the bill.<br />

“I think the dialogue has been<br />

very good, regardless of whether<br />

somebody agrees with what the<br />

original bill says or not,” Ryan said.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re's been a willingness to at<br />

least hear from us on our concerns.<br />

And I do think that legislation that<br />

ultimately moves through the process<br />

will reflect a great deal of input and<br />

feedback from us.”<br />

In December, the UA Faculty<br />

Senate passed a resolution calling<br />

on UA President Stuart Bell to<br />

oppose legislation that “undermines<br />

academic freedom and, therefore, the<br />

historic purpose of higher education.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faculty Senate urged the UA<br />

System to maintain its commitment<br />

to academic freedom. Neither<br />

Bell nor the UA System issued the<br />

statement requested.<br />

“I don't think in this case that<br />

the public statement would be<br />

particularly helpful in advancing or<br />

achieving what we’re trying to do<br />

legislatively,” Ryan said.<br />

Sara McDaniel, a senator for the<br />

College of Education and the chair<br />

of the college’s diversity, equity and<br />

inclusion committee, was dissatisfied<br />

with the University’s silence on<br />

the resolution.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new bill has not been shared<br />

publicly and has not become public<br />

record. Since June, the only bills<br />

available to the public are those the<br />

University seeks to replace.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> bills that were introduced in<br />

January, that are now in committee<br />

... are no different than the bills<br />

that were prefiled in the summer,”<br />

McDaniel said. “So whatever the<br />

University was doing between the<br />

summer and January to impact the<br />

wording of the bills, the wording<br />

didn’t change. So I don’t know what<br />

we’ve been doing.”


4B<br />

<strong>Justice</strong> is slowly prevailing for<br />

women’s collegiate athletics<br />

JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

ROBERT CORTEZ<br />

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR<br />

It takes the same amount of drive,<br />

resilience and toughness for any<br />

student-athlete to compete at the<br />

collegiate level, but women are only<br />

starting to receive the same respect<br />

male athletes have had for decades.<br />

Anniversary of Title IX<br />

This year marks the 50th<br />

anniversary of Title IX, a law that<br />

states that “no person in the United<br />

States shall, on the basis of sex, be<br />

excluded from participation in, be<br />

denied the benefits of, or be subjected<br />

to discrimination under any education<br />

program or activity receiving<br />

Federal financial assistance.” In this<br />

anniversary year, the NCAA offered<br />

“gender equity reforms” during the<br />

education session that began on<br />

Jan. 25.<br />

Alabama softball head coach Patrick<br />

Murphy went to Twitter to show his<br />

pleasure about the announcement of<br />

the reforms.<br />

“A small step in the right direction<br />

… on the 50th anniversary of Title<br />

IX,” Murphy tweeted.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se reforms plan to help expand<br />

championship operations, the<br />

student-athlete experience, marketing<br />

efforts and more in the women’s game<br />

in order to achieve parity with their<br />

male counterparts. <strong>The</strong>re are two<br />

phases in the gender equity reforms,<br />

which include bridging the gap<br />

between women’s and men’s basketball<br />

coverage and improving the women’s<br />

game across all three divisions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> NCAA said it noticed 65<br />

discrepancies between the women’s<br />

and men’s games and resolved 45 of<br />

them. Starting this year, the NCAA is<br />

going to improve women’s coverage all<br />

the way from the bracket reveal to the<br />

trophy presentation once a champion<br />

has been named. In <strong>2021</strong>, the NCAA<br />

was called out for differences in the<br />

weight rooms it provided men’s and<br />

women’s teams.<br />

<strong>The</strong> NCAA improved the women’s<br />

weight rooms once the backlash<br />

hit and will continue to improve<br />

its facilities and accommodations<br />

for the NCAA Women’s Basketball<br />

Tournament. Student-athletes and<br />

their families will now be given lounges<br />

in their respective hotels while also<br />

receiving improved mementos and<br />

in-venue experiences.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are three major steps the<br />

NCAA plans to take to improve<br />

women’s collegiate athletics in all<br />

three divisions. <strong>The</strong> first includes an<br />

increased number of bench numbers,<br />

travel rosters and changes to bracket<br />

selections. Second, the NCAA will<br />

use cross-promotion, branding and<br />

enhanced marketing strategies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> biggest improvement will<br />

be the expansion of championship<br />

competition across the Division I<br />

level in gymnastics, softball and<br />

volleyball. Gymnastics will add a day<br />

of rest before the regional final and<br />

national final. <strong>The</strong>re will no longer<br />

be doubleheaders on “elimination<br />

Saturday” at the Women’s College<br />

World Series, and a rest day is now<br />

implemented a day<br />

before the<br />

championship series begins.<br />

Volleyball adds a day of rest in the<br />

regional round.<br />

Both of these phases will come<br />

to fruition through increased<br />

budgets and personnel,<br />

improved broadcasting<br />

opportunities, external<br />

operations and marketing,<br />

and a gender equity<br />

evaluation process.<br />

In the past 12 months,<br />

a couple of women’s<br />

collegiate games have<br />

found their way onto<br />

a national broadcast<br />

network. During<br />

the <strong>2021</strong> softball<br />

postseason, Game 2 of the Norman<br />

Super Regional between Oklahoma<br />

and Washington was broadcast on<br />

ABC. This was the first-ever college<br />

softball game televised on a broadcast<br />

network. On Jan. 16, Alabama and<br />

Florida’s gymnastics meet became the<br />

first regular-season gymnastics meet<br />

to air on ABC.<br />

Alabama gymnastics head coach<br />

Dana Duckworth reflected on what<br />

it meant for a regular season college<br />

gymnastics meet to air on ABC.<br />

“I think that it is a huge statement<br />

for our sport,” Duckworth said. “It<br />

continues to allow our sport to grow,<br />

gaining more recognition, and give<br />

more women opportunity to shine out<br />

of the bright lights.”<br />

What now?<br />

A couple games between<br />

ranked teams during<br />

the <strong>2021</strong>-22 women’s<br />

basketball season<br />

required monthly<br />

subscriptions to<br />

watch.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se games included No. 1 South<br />

Carolina vs. No. 15 LSU available on<br />

SEC Network+ and No. 4 Indiana vs.<br />

No. 5 Stanford on FloHoops.<br />

Would ESPN ever not publicly<br />

televise a top-15 or top-five men’s<br />

basketball game?<br />

In <strong>2021</strong>, the Women’s College<br />

World Series had 60% more<br />

viewership than the Men’s College<br />

World Series. <strong>The</strong> WCWS averaged<br />

1.2 million views, compared with the<br />

men’s average viewing of 775,000.<br />

Although softball’s viewership<br />

skyrocketed past baseball’s, ESPN<br />

televised the MCWS winner-take-all<br />

game at 6 p.m. CT, while first pitch<br />

for the WCWS winner-take-all game<br />

was in the middle of the afternoon at<br />

2 p.m. CT.<br />

If the WCWS has drawn more<br />

engagement, fans wonder why the<br />

NCAA hasn’t put money toward a<br />

padded outfield fence instead of<br />

a chain-link fence with a mesh<br />

covering.<br />

It’s evident that the NCAA<br />

is working toward growing<br />

the women’s game, but there is<br />

still a tremendous<br />

amount of work<br />

to do.<br />

JAVON WILLIAMS<br />

STAFF REPORTER<br />

Club sports have faced setbacks<br />

during the COVID-19 pandemic. At<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama, some club<br />

sports teams were heavily impacted and<br />

suffered financially after a missed season.<br />

Funding<br />

Club sports are operated by<br />

student officers and funded mostly<br />

by membership dues, fundraisers, the<br />

Student Recreation Center and the<br />

Student Government Association.<br />

Membership dues are paid by athletes<br />

each semester and range from $150 to<br />

$200. <strong>The</strong> funds that these teams receive<br />

from University Recreation are limited<br />

and require documentation to show the<br />

commitment of the team.<br />

According to the Sports Club<br />

Resource Guide, 60% of the annual<br />

sports club allocation is distributed to<br />

teams based on need. To receive this kind<br />

of funding, teams are required to submit<br />

projected annual budgets and attend<br />

budget meetings.<br />

For the team to receive a need-based<br />

allocation in the upcoming year, 80% of<br />

the current year’s allocation has to have<br />

been spent. If a team does not meet this<br />

COVID sidelines club sports<br />

requirement the balance will remain in<br />

its account, but it will not receive needbased<br />

funds for the upcoming year.<br />

Because of this rule, some teams<br />

struggled to start back up when club<br />

sports resumed in fall <strong>2021</strong>. Over time,<br />

teams lost major resources and struggled<br />

to maintain financial stability. Some were<br />

able to continue without any advances.<br />

Water polo<br />

<strong>The</strong> water polo team was able to<br />

continue normal operations without<br />

many struggles. Alabama junior Nick<br />

Ward is the president of the water polo<br />

team and has been a member since his<br />

freshman year.<br />

Ward said the club still gets its regular<br />

allocations of funding from the recreation<br />

center, and they still had money left over<br />

to bring into the comeback season. <strong>The</strong><br />

team also brought in additional funding<br />

from a fundraising contest with other<br />

club sports.<br />

“We’ve been able to do everything<br />

we’ve needed to do with the funding that<br />

we’ve been given, especially this year,<br />

so we are better off than normal after<br />

coming out of COVID,” Ward said.<br />

Ward and his team appreciate the<br />

amount that is given to them by the<br />

recreation center, but they continue to<br />

find ways to support themselves aside<br />

from the allocations.<br />

“We have been starting to do more and<br />

more fundraisers,” Ward said. “We had<br />

a percentage night at [Red Bowl] Asian<br />

and we had a really big turnout, and they<br />

were really appreciative of us coming out<br />

and growing their business, and we were<br />

really appreciative of them.”<br />

Hockey<br />

<strong>The</strong> same can’t be said for the Alabama<br />

Hockey Club.<br />

<strong>The</strong> club has been competing in the<br />

American Collegiate Hockey Association<br />

for 17 years. Alabama has competed at<br />

the Division I level since 2015.<br />

Delaney Galbraith is the head of<br />

marketing and head of staff for the<br />

hockey club and thinks the University<br />

could do more.<br />

“UA is really missing out with not<br />

helping this program,” Galbraith said.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> school has had every opportunity to<br />

help, and I’ve seen little to none come in.<br />

<strong>The</strong> staff members, players and fan base<br />

are what keep this program alive.”<br />

Alabama hockey was on the brink of<br />

being kicked out by the Pelham Civic<br />

Complex, where the team practices and<br />

hosts games. Without help from the fans,<br />

the team would have no place to compete.<br />

“Our fan support is incredible,”<br />

Galbraith said. “We have a pretty<br />

decent-sized fan base that has helped us<br />

overcome these obstacles like funding.<br />

CW File<br />

Lots of fans will donate thousands of<br />

dollars to the program.”<br />

In an effort to save its season,<br />

Alabama hockey created a GoFundMe<br />

page to raise $18,000 by Sept. 1, <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> page has yet to reach that goal, but<br />

the GoFundMe page is still live and has<br />

raised over $10,000.<br />

Equestrian club<br />

<strong>The</strong> hockey club is not the only team<br />

that relies heavily on fundraisers. <strong>The</strong> UA<br />

Equestrian Club was hit hard financially,<br />

and the hopes for the season were slim.<br />

In March 2020, the equestrian team<br />

was demoted from a varsity sport to a<br />

club sport, forcing the team to turn to<br />

fundraising when its University funds<br />

were cut.<br />

Vice President Abigayle Kneebone<br />

started a petition to have the decision<br />

reversed, but more than 22,000 signatures<br />

couldn’t change the University’s mind.<br />

<strong>The</strong> allocation from the Student<br />

Recreation Center forced the team to<br />

change its program and caused some<br />

members to transfer schools to continue<br />

to practice the sport they love.<br />

“I know a lot of girls who came to<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama specifically<br />

for the equestrian team,” Kneebone<br />

said. “Without a funded team, it<br />

simply is not worth it, especially with<br />

out-of-state tuition.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> hockey club (left) and the equestrian club (right) were financially impacted<br />

during the COVID 19 pandemic. CW File and courtesy of UA Equestrian Club


JUSTICE<br />

<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

5B


6B<br />

JUSTICE<br />

Februarary 3, 2022<br />

Top athletes can be activists through NIL<br />

ASHLEE WOODS<br />

SPORTS EDITOR<br />

A couple years ago, name, image<br />

and likeness was a term only a few<br />

college athletes knew. Now, the world<br />

of college sports — fans, athletes and<br />

coaches alike — knows about NIL,<br />

and it’s here to stay.<br />

On June 21, <strong>2021</strong>, the U.S. Supreme<br />

Court ruled against the NCAA in<br />

NCAA v. Alston. <strong>The</strong> court upheld<br />

the ruling made by the U.S. Court of<br />

Appeals in the Ninth Circuit.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> NCAA has long restricted<br />

the compensation and benefits<br />

that student athletes may receive,”<br />

Supreme Court <strong>Justice</strong> Brett<br />

Kavanaugh wrote in the concurring<br />

opinion. “With surprising success,<br />

the NCAA has long shielded its<br />

compensation rules from ordinary<br />

antitrust scrutiny. Today, however,<br />

the court holds that the NCAA has<br />

violated antitrust laws. <strong>The</strong> Court’s<br />

decision marks an important and<br />

overdue course correction.”<br />

Along with the federal pressure,<br />

states across the U.S. were drafting<br />

NIL laws to put in place in early<br />

July. <strong>The</strong> NCAA had to take action,<br />

and quickly.<br />

On June 30, <strong>2021</strong>, the NCAA Board<br />

of Directors voted to lift restrictions<br />

on student-athletes and their names.<br />

On July 1, <strong>2021</strong>, several states signed<br />

NIL bills into law. For the first time,<br />

college athletes could profit off their<br />

names and images.<br />

<strong>The</strong> issues around NIL<br />

are a labor issue. This is<br />

about these students not<br />

as students actually but<br />

as workers and people<br />

who produce quite a bit<br />

of value and profit for<br />

quite a few people.<br />

A.J. BAUER<br />

<strong>The</strong> Supreme Court’s ruling has<br />

been heralded by many as a great<br />

step in changing college athletics.<br />

After years of activism, students<br />

will now be rewarded for their<br />

immense efforts.<br />

But is this the end?<br />

“I do think that name, image and<br />

likeness has been a very positive<br />

benefit for college athletes,” said<br />

Katie Lever, a doctoral student<br />

studying issues within the NCAA<br />

at the University of Texas at Austin.<br />

“It’s not the end all, be all of college<br />

sports reform.”<br />

For years, the NCAA earned<br />

billions of dollars for several college<br />

sports while forbidding athletes<br />

to make money, host camps and<br />

clinics, appear in commercials or<br />

sign endorsements. <strong>The</strong> NCAA also<br />

punished athletes for promoting<br />

small businesses, raising money for<br />

healthcare and accepting offers of<br />

free goods.<br />

Student-athletes have consistently<br />

pushed back and, in 2020, took<br />

their protests to new heights. With<br />

the power of social media, studentathletes<br />

across the country spoke<br />

about the racial, physical and mental<br />

abuse they endured while the schools<br />

they competed for profited off their<br />

names. <strong>The</strong> NCAA could no longer<br />

say that college athletes aren't<br />

university employees, and fans began<br />

calling for change.<br />

<strong>The</strong> paternal grip of the NCAA<br />

was loosening, but the NCAA still<br />

had something that the studentathletes<br />

didn’t: financial stability.<br />

“Most of these NIL deals are<br />

averaging in maybe the hundreds-ofdollars<br />

range,” Lever said. “So, it’s not<br />

providing athletes with the stability<br />

to be able to speak out on some<br />

controversial topics that they were<br />

speaking out against in the summer<br />

of 2020.”<br />

Top collegiate athletes are signing<br />

brand deals that allow them to earn<br />

six figures. University of Connecticut<br />

women’s basketball player Paige<br />

Bueckers signed a multimillion dollar<br />

deal with Nike. Alabama quarterback<br />

Bryce Young has appeared in<br />

commercials for CashApp. Alabama<br />

Hundreds of UA student-athletes protested police brutality on Aug. 31, 2020.<br />

CW / Keely Brewer<br />

softball fans can purchase pitcher<br />

Montana Fouts’ “Throw Like a Girl”<br />

merchandise at BamaStuff.<br />

But not all college athletes are<br />

enjoying the same benefits.<br />

Along with a limited amount of<br />

money, it’s still relatively easy to<br />

censor an athlete for speaking out.<br />

Most college athletes attend school<br />

on a scholarship. A coach can decide<br />

to revoke a scholarship if a college<br />

athlete speaks out about a cause the<br />

coach deems controversial.<br />

<strong>The</strong> NCAA still has firm control<br />

over the actions and movements<br />

college athletes can pursue. A<br />

practice that has allowed the NCAA<br />

to maintain control over college<br />

athletes has just taken a new form.<br />

Image is much more than one’s<br />

physical appearance. Most brands<br />

value the words and actions of<br />

athletes now more than ever. Major<br />

companies also try to support<br />

social causes athletes are speaking<br />

out about.<br />

In March <strong>2021</strong>, several college<br />

athletes considered a strike from the<br />

March Madness tournament. <strong>The</strong><br />

National College Players Association<br />

partnered with the group of athletes<br />

and demanded the NCAA give<br />

athletes a list of their rights.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> only thing that was missing<br />

from that was an ultimatum,” Lever<br />

said. “That’s really the missing piece<br />

here. <strong>The</strong> NCAA does have a lot<br />

of infrastructure, but it’s a pretty<br />

shaky foundation.”<br />

Despite limited funds and pressure<br />

from athletic programs, social media<br />

and brand deals may be the way<br />

college athletes can create change in<br />

the NCAA. Platforms like Twitter,<br />

Instagram and TikTok allow fans<br />

to see college athletes in a way they<br />

haven’t before.<br />

“Historically, the idea of one’s<br />

likeness — a brand — utilizing you<br />

to sell their product wasn’t all that<br />

common for us [regular people]<br />

because it’s more interesting for<br />

brands to want to use our images,”<br />

said A.J. Bauer, associate professor of<br />

journalism and creative media at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama.<br />

College athletes don’t have to<br />

be stars to participate in activism.<br />

Social media allows college athletes<br />

to raise awareness for a cause with a<br />

simple video or a post. Athletes have<br />

also used creative outlets such as art<br />

and fashion to grow their brand.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se actions can change the<br />

narrative around college athletes'<br />

issues in the U.S.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> issues around NIL are a<br />

labor issue,” Bauer said. “This is<br />

about these students not as students<br />

actually but as workers and people<br />

who produce quite a bit of value and<br />

profit for quite a few people.”<br />

College athlete activism may be<br />

less prominent than it was in 2020,<br />

but NIL creates a space for it to exist.<br />

“A lot of this has to do with<br />

the organization really, truly<br />

partnering with the athlete, making<br />

it customizable and making sure that<br />

the athlete is accommodated and can<br />

use his or her platform as best as they<br />

possibly can,” Lever said.<br />

OPINION: NIL has opened doors, but is it enough?<br />

AUSTIN HANNON<br />

STAFF REPORTER<br />

<strong>The</strong> long, drawn-out debate about<br />

whether or not college athletes should<br />

be paid has finally been settled. Or<br />

has it?<br />

<strong>The</strong> debate will never end; athletes<br />

will always want more, and the<br />

NCAA will always want less.<br />

In high school, I wrote a research<br />

paper on why college athletes should<br />

not be paid a salary because they were<br />

already being financially supported<br />

by a full academic scholarship.<br />

Many people have the same<br />

viewpoint as my younger self. Former<br />

Florida quarterback and Heisman<br />

CW / Jo Dyess<br />

winner Tim Tebow voiced his<br />

disapproval when California became<br />

the first state to allow studentathletes<br />

to receive compensation.<br />

“I knew going into college what it<br />

was all about,” Tebow said. “I knew<br />

going to Florida, my dream school,<br />

where I wanted to go, the passion for<br />

it. And if I could support my team,<br />

support my college, support my<br />

university, that’s what it’s all about.<br />

But now we’re changing it from us<br />

and we and my university — from<br />

being an alumni, which makes us<br />

care, and what makes college football<br />

and college sports special — to it’s<br />

not about us, it’s not about we, it’s<br />

just about me.”<br />

Tebow would have made a<br />

disgusting amount of cash if he had<br />

the name, image and likeness rules in<br />

his college career, but he feared that<br />

college football would turn into the<br />

NFL in that recruits would choose<br />

their school based on the amount<br />

offered. That’s understandable.<br />

College football is great because of<br />

the passion and pageantry that goes<br />

along with it. But something tells me<br />

Tebow is against it because he didn’t<br />

get to take part in it.<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount of money the NCAA<br />

and its universities make is downright<br />

ridiculous. Billions of dollars go into<br />

college sports yearly, and the athletes<br />

who are actually making the money<br />

get small fractions of it. Sources say<br />

that Alabama quarterback Bryce<br />

Young made almost $1 million in<br />

NIL deals last year, but that’s nothing<br />

compared to the NCAA.<br />

But when you think of the total<br />

profit that Alabama athletics made<br />

this season, is that really a lot?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama athletic program<br />

generated almost $180 million in<br />

the last year, so is Young worth less<br />

than 1% of the team? His Heisman<br />

trophy would say otherwise. Without<br />

Young behind center, chances are the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide would not have made<br />

the national championship game.<br />

That would have been an<br />

enormous loss of money, and yet,<br />

rather than the school he works<br />

for paying him, he gets paid by the<br />

likes of Logan’s Roadhouse, Subway<br />

and iHeartRadio.<br />

We haven’t moved into paid<br />

salaries for student-athletes yet. NIL<br />

is the only way for these athletes to<br />

make money, but that comes with yet<br />

another kink. How are lesser-known,<br />

lesser-televised athletes supposed to<br />

make money? <strong>The</strong> television coverage<br />

for women’s athletics is low, and the<br />

name recognition is even lower. <strong>The</strong><br />

same goes for other undercovered<br />

sports like swimming, golf, rowing,<br />

track and field, and cross country.<br />

If the money for the sport isn’t<br />

there, then the majority of athletes<br />

will never touch a dollar.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are some examples — like<br />

South Carolina women’s basketball<br />

star Aliyah Boston, Connecticut’s<br />

Paige Bueckers, Auburn gymnast<br />

Suni Lee and Alabama’s Montana<br />

Fouts — whose recognizable names<br />

could earn them a buck from time<br />

to time.<br />

But what about their teammates?<br />

I support giving student-athletes<br />

the money that they have earned, but<br />

I agree that it could absolutely change<br />

college sports. <strong>The</strong> top-tier programs<br />

with the most money will now be<br />

able to “buy” players. Recruiting will<br />

become free agency, and the transfer<br />

portal will go wild. But at the end<br />

of the day, it’s not about the viewers<br />

and fans.<br />

We should not get to determine<br />

what these student-athletes should<br />

or should not make just because it<br />

will tarnish our enjoyment of the<br />

game. <strong>The</strong>y have worked their entire<br />

lives to create this opportunity for<br />

themselves, and they should be able<br />

to reap the benefits to the last dollar.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!